Schools have been out for nearly four weeks, and some districts have said the students will not return this school year. Teachers are scrambling to create at-home assignments, post video lessons, and plan class meetings using Zoom. But many people are concerned about students falling behind.
Maybe they will fall behind when it comes to regular curriculum or standardized testing.
But what if the real, important, long-term result is something quite different? What if these students wind up gaining more than they lose?
- What if they develop stronger relationships with their parents and siblings?
- What if they become more creative, more self-reliant, and more able to entertain themselves?
- What if they learn to love reading, journaling, and crafting?
- What if they notice and start appreciating birds, flowers, trees, clouds, stars, and other features of our beautiful world?
- What if they learn to enjoy simple pastimes, like a conversation, a bike ride, a game of cards, or a good joke?
- What if this generation learns to cook, organize their space, do their laundry, take care of a garden, and keep a well-run home?
- What if they learn to stretch a dollar and live with less? To make and mend rather than running out to shop?
- What if they learn the value of eating together as a family and sharing the little joys and difficulties of every day?
- What if they place greater value on teachers, librarians, and all the previously unsung but essential professionals like truck drivers, grocers, cashiers, custodians, farm workers, mass transit providers, postal and delivery workers, mechanics, employees of water/sewer/waste disposal/power/communication services, and health care workers and their supporting staff?
- What if they become less vulnerable to peer pressure, and more aware of their own true needs and desires?
- What if they learn that it's fulfilling to be kind and compassionate toward others?
- What if they learn to enjoy a slower pace and a simpler life?
- What if they learn to cherish friendship and human contact?
- What if, instead of learning to be dissatisfied with what they have, always needing to acquire or experience the next big thing, they learn gratitude and contentment?
What if these children actually come out AHEAD?
Photo by Steven Feldman on Unsplash.